Top positive review
Brilliant - among Suzanne Vega's best work
on 23 April 2016
All of these Close Up albums from Suzanne Vega are really excellent. For me these stripped-down re-workings of her songs shed a new light on many of them and in a lot of cases I prefer them to the originals.
That haunting voice is still wonderful - a little huskier and more breathy perhaps which only adds to the atmosphere of the recording. The principal instrument is her acoustic guitar, played beautifully and often solo but augmented by delicate additions of things like organ and electric lead where appropriate. It takes really good material to shine with such minimal production, and these complex, often quirky songs show what very fine music and lyrics Vega has produced. The whole thing sounds intimate and personal (as was the intention), made more so by being quite close-miked and beautifully recorded. It is simply excellent throughout with great hits sounding original and fresh (there is a simply stunning version of Luka, for example), and less well-known songs making you wonder why they are less well-known.
You almost certainly know Suzanne Vega's work if you are considering this, and are perhaps wondering whether you need new versions of songs you already own and love. I wondered the same thing but took a chance on this series and I'm delighted I did. I was worried it might be like those outtakes and demo versions which get added as bonus tracks to CDs and often aren't very good. These albums are nothing like that at all - they are a joy. This package also contains a disc of material not included on the original four CDs and DVD of a fine live set, making it excellent value, too
I think this box contains some of Suzanne Vega's best work, and I recommend it very warmly.